I keep seeing topics regarding ice cream, ice cream vs. gelato, favorite flavors, toppings, frozen yogurt but I can’t recall seeing my favorite frozen treat. Water Ice or Italian Ice, as I call it, has been my favorite go-to summer treat since my childhood.
When I was a kid growing up in Central Jersey during the 70’s you couldn’t wait till Memorial Day, because once Memorial Day came the magic little sign appeared in every pizza places window “Gino’s Italian Ice”. Memorial Day through Labor Day every local pizzeria would carry Gino’s Italian Ice. Flavors like, cherry, watermelon, lemon, chocolate and rainbow was all there was for us. It was so soft and smooth almost creamy in texture but it was pure ice, served in a paper cup with no spoon or utensil. Just you, your paper cup and your icy delicious treat, the best part was sucking the liquid remnants of what melted out of the cup. Everyone in the neighborhood knew you had an Italian Ice by your ruby red, or blue lips and tongue after having one.
Who else remembers this? Was it just an east coast thing? I haven’t seen a Gino’s Ice in 20+ years….I see google still has a Gino’s Ice listed but I don’t know if they are the same company or not. Today, Rita’s is about the closest I can get and I do enjoy it, but boy, would I love just one more Gino’s on a hot summer night.